Mini-Album for 4″ x 4″ Photos

Hello All!

I know, it has been five months since my last post.  Time always seems to get away from me.  I’ve been going non-stop since two weeks before the Christmas Holidays and it doesn’t seem like things are going to slow down at all!  Here’s what has been going on.

Two weeks before Christmas I auditioned for a part in a local production on a whim.  I saw the advertisement for the auditions, read the description of the character (old woman who might be losing her mind who has been married for over 40 years to the same man) and I thought…”Hey!  That’s me!”  It also said the play wouldn’t last more than 30 minutes and I further thought, “Piece of Cake.”

Although my husband and I have only been together for 22 years, had my children’s father and I stayed together, it would have been over 40 years.  I thought even more…”I can do this!” So I got up early on the morning December 18 and went down to the theater and auditioned not thinking I would get the part.  Well…by Monday I had the part.

The name of the play was Love Song by Robert R. Lehan.  It truly was about an older couple in their 60’s or 70’s that couldn’t remember if they had been married to each other or not (a dark comedy).  One of them was in an institution, but by the end we weren’t sure who it was.  Jeanine spent the entire play trying to convince Sam they had been married for over 40 years.

Anyway, when I realized I had been cast in the play, I did a google search for a copy of the script since the director wasn’t going to send it out until after Christmas.  I was only able to find the first three pages and I am sure glad I did!  The entire first scene was just me (character Jeanine) reciting a six minute monologue trying to get Sam to remember her.  That’s when I learned the only characters were Sam and Jeanine and we would be on stage the entire 30 minutes with no breaks to go backstage and take a quick glance at the script. I began to panic! I started memorizing immediately working on my part between six and eight hours a day.  Lines needed to be learned by the end of January.

I didn’t clean, I barely cooked (I didn’t mind that)…just memorized.  Rehearsals started the first week in January, two nights each week, and the show ran from February 7 through February 27 with sometimes four performances each week.  It was WORK, WORK, WORK!  I had forgotten how much.  I used to do this kind of thing in high school and college over 100 years ago! There were times when I wondered what I had gotten myself into. But, once the lines were learned it was FUN, FUN, FUN!  I would do it again in a hear beat.  I’ve been keeping my eyes open for more show auditions, but most of the local theaters are getting ready to close their current season.  There probably won’t be anything again until the fall.  And, that is okay because summer is for vacations and we have a few planned

As soon as the show closed I went to my daughter’s place in Northern Colorado to visit her and my granddaughter.  I hadn’t seen them since Christmas.  I actually visited them twice for three days each time during the month of March.

In March I re-started my monthly card club, Cards & Coffee, and began working on the project I am sharing with you today.  It took three tries before I got it just as I wanted and I do have a written tutorial with photos available for $15.00  If you are interested, just email me at the address listed in the top right of this page, and I will let you know how to get payment to me and I will email you a copy of the tutorial.  I wish I could share it for free, but unfortunately it was so time consuming I can not.

If you are local, I will be doing a class featuring this album.  The cost of the class will be $35.00 as the album requires 24 sheets of 12″ x 12″ Designer Series Paper and one package (24 sheets ) of 8-1/2″ x 11″ card stock to construct.

A couple items that are not listed below are not in the Stampin’ Up! catalog and they are:

  • ruler
  • pencil
  • 12″ x 12″ piece of chip board.

I created a mini album because I am forever looking for a way to showcase photos of grandchildren without a lot of scrap-booking fuss.  Also, we will be doing a river cruise this August and it is always nice to have a photo album in your hands when remembering the trip afterwards.  This mini album holds 70—that’s right 70–4″ x 4″ photos. Here is a sneak peak of the front cover and inside.





I hope you enjoyed your visit here today.  I’ll try not to take so long to come back to visit with you next time.  Until then…

Happy Stamping!





My Thoughts on Turning Sixty-five and A Christmas Card Box

Hello Stampers!

I decided to do something different today.  I’m going to share my thoughts on turning sixty-five this upcoming February.  I know it’s still three months away, but a few things happened this past week that got me thinking about it.  So, I’ll share my thoughts with you and then I’ll share the video tutorial on how I made this card. I am also sharing another craft I recently completed other than stamping.  I made some snowmen door hangings for decorations this Christmas season.  I hope you enjoy everything.  I’d love to hear what you think.

Soon I will celebrate sixty-five circles around the sun. That’s right! I will be 65 years old. Old enough to be on Medicare.

The last few times I spoke with my mother, I mentioned the fact that I would soon be signing up for a Medicare Advantage Plan. And whenever I mentioned it to her, she would laugh that “HA HA HA , you’re getting old laugh” !  When she does that I just ask, “So tell me what it’s like to be ninety years old, Mother?”  (We celebrated her ninetieth birthday this past May.) Then she says she can’t believe she is old enough for her youngest to be on Medicare; that’s why the laugh.  Guess what, Mom? Neither can I!

The thought of turning sixty-five makes me shake my head in disbelief and ask myself, “How?”… “When?”… “Really?”… “Oh my God!”…  “Seriously?”

After a recent visit to the eye doctor, I learned I have the beginning of cataracts. CATARACTS! Did I hear him right? That’s something that happens to old people, isn’t it? My grandfather and mother had cataracts. How in the hell did I get them? When I told my husband about the cataracts,  he laughed and said in a teasing tone, “You are getting old!” “Not as old as you who will be seventy next year!” I replied.   When asked how it feels to be this age, my answer is, “What age? How does it feel to be any age? I don’t know! I’ve never been this age!”   

If I think about my cerebral age, I think I’m not that old! I think I’m in my thirties, forties, or fifties. In my mind, I’m still forty! Not much has changed about my cognitive abilities since then. At least I don’t think much has changed. Except I notice that I do spend a lot of time walking up and down the steps in my house, (we have four levels) looking for my phone. Sometimes I even forget what I’m looking for. When I finally do remember, I thank heaven for my Apple watch! I remember I can use it to ping the phone’s location. I also notice that when I’m giving driving directions to someone, I will verbally say something like, “Turn right at the light” but I’ll gesture left. What’s that all about?

When I was in my fifties and still teaching full-time, my students would sometimes ask me how old I was.  I never revealed my age, but I would give them a response like, “I still look good for someone in her sixties.  Don’t you think?”  And they would look at each other and say quietly, “She’s sixty!” as if to say…
“GAWD YOU ARE OLD!” and I would chuckle under my breath. In my mind, I am still in my fifties.  

If I think about my corporal age, I think I’m able to do more than the Silver Sneaker seniors at the YMCA can do in their Silver Sneakers classes. I can still spin a good twenty miles in a 50-minute spinning class or walk unassisted for an adequate length of time. Never mind that my adult children walk as I did in my thirties. My mother used to tell me to slow down then. Now I say to my children, “You go ahead and run; I will walk.”  And they chuckle and reply, “Mom…”  What’s that all about?

Along with reaching Medicare age, I sometimes think of how much time I might have left, and I ask myself if I accomplished enough in the time I have been given? Did I do enough good? I wonder if I should die tomorrow, if I’ve done enough for my children so they will be good, responsible adults on their own. Did I teach them enough about life? Then I remind myself; they are responsible adults on their own right now. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t need me anymore, does it? I’m going to be sixty-five and at times I still need my mother. Besides, I’m not ready to leave them alone quite yet.

When I think of my mortality, I feel sad because one day my life will be over. Will my friends and family miss me? I will no longer be able to participate in the lives of my children and grandchildren. Was it that long ago that I gave birth to my kids? Will I get to meet my great-grandchildren?

So, as I chose a Medicare Advantage Plan earlier this week, I realize there are a lot of questions I have that only time will be able to answer. But as I prepare myself for the celebration of my 65th revolution around the sun, I tell myself to make the most of each day. Don’t take a moment for granted! My Italian mother once told me of an old Italian saying about the creases in the palms of our hands. Are you looking at yours right now? The creases form the letter “M” in each palm which stands for “Momento Morire.” Or in English, “At any moment, death;” nature’s way of giving us a daily reminder that our time on Earth is limited to a certain number of days.

I vow, as I age…I will do all I can to stave off both physical and mental degradation. I’ll stay as active as I can both physically and mentally. I realize I will slow down more as I grow even older. Certain things that  happen to me might even be beyond my control. I will do all I can to ensure I have a quality of life before my time comes. I. Will. Not. Be. Afraid. Of. Another. Birthday! My incredibly wise father used to say at each of his birthdays as he grew older, “Keep them coming!”  It sure beats the alternative!

These are the snowmen door/wall hangings I made.  I used picture frames and some Christmas supplies from the dollar store along with some retired Stampin’ Up! ribbon and DSP and a few current Stampin’ Up! supplies.

On the first snowman I stamped a piece of Basic White card stock cut large enough for the frame using Mint Macaron Classic Ink and the water color-wash stamp from the Artistically Inked stamp set just to give his face a little texture.  I cut 1″ circles for his eyes using a 1″ circle punch and 1/2″ circles for his mouth and buttons using a 1/2″ circle punch.  They are cut out of Basic Black card stock.  I used the White Stampin’ Chalk Marker to make dots for button holes on the mouth and three buttons on both snowmen.  I drew the carrot for the nose and hat free hand on both.  The nose on both is cut from a piece of  scrap Pumpkin Pie card stock and outlined with the dark Soft Suede Stampin’ Blend. The hats are cut out of black felt (2 pieces per hat).  I drew the hat on a piece of cardboard from a pack of 12″ x 12″ DSP and cut it out, then traced it onto a piece of black felt a little larger than the cardboard cut out.  I then hot glued a piece of felt to the front and back of the cardboard.  All the decorations are from Dollar Tree except for the green striped ribbon on the first snowman and the red ribbon around the hat on the second snowman.  Both of these ribbons are leftover retired stuff.  All decorations on both snowmen are hot glued to the front of the frames.  I cut a length of ribbon (I didn’t measure) and hot glued it down the center back of each frame.  You could also add  three branch arms to each if you like.  I don’t think I am quite finished with each of these.  I may add a big bow to the “neck” area on each and maybe arms.

I used some left over Peaceful Prints Designer Series Paper for this second snowman.  Unfortunately, it was a fall Sale-a-bration item and is no longer available.



So my card today is more of a gate fold box card.  I saw it somewhere on but for the life of me can’t remember who it was that was sharing it.  It took awhile to figure out, but I managed to get a pattern down for the card.  You can download a copy of the template for it here.



I hope you enjoy the video and the other things I had to share today.  If you have any questions about any of it, please let me know.  Until next time…




Happy Stamping!



Order online 24/7

Winter Cabin Paper Lantern

Hello Everyone!

Gee it has been awhile! As I mention in my video, I’m really not sure what I’ve been keeping busy with, but I’ve been keeping busy with everything EXCEPT stamping! I spent some time traveling to Northern Colorado to visit my daughter and grand-daughter in May. I also spent a few weeks in May having my kitchen cabinets re-painted.  What a mess that was, since I had to totally empty them and I had stuff EVERYWHERE!!  Then in June we traveled to my hometown, Struthers, Ohio, to celebrate my mother’s 90th birthday with close family. Since we’ve been back I’ve been busy, but if I had to tell you EXACTLY what I’ve been busy with, I would not be able to say.

I have managed to get into my craft room to complete a few crafts, mostly other than stamping. THIS one is my most recent stamp project which doesn’t really involve stamping at all. I really like these Cabin Dies and the Peaceful Cabin stamp set.

I’ve always had a fascination with paper lanterns especially after seeing some of the really cool ones when I browse Pintrist.   I made my grand-daughter a paper lantern hot air balloon basket for Easter…that was in April.  It turned out really cute.  You can find those on Pintrist as well.  I purchased that paper lantern at a local craft store…it was round.  But as I was browsing Pintrist,  I quickly realized that I need one of those fancy paper crafting machines where you buy programs to print out the patterns for all of  the lanterns similar to this one.  So….I decided to create my own pattern that can be printed out on a regular computer printer, hand traced onto a piece of card stock and then cut out.

This is the pattern I developed.  I have a link to a printable pdf that I am willing to share, but please keep in mind, I am only able to do this after you place an order in my Stampin’ Up! online store.  The video I share is very long to watch (about 38 minutes) as this is NOT a quick project.   I did manage to cut the video down from 60 minutes.  🙂




(Unfortunately, I felt the disclaimer was necessary!)

Here is a list of measurements for the card stock.  You will need…

  1.  Night of Navy card stock—4 pieces that measure 8-1/2″ x 5-1/2 “, 4 pieces that measure 3-3/4″ x 4-3/4″, 1 piece that measures 1″ x 6″, 1 piece that measures 4″ x 4″ with score marks at the 1″ mark on all 4 sides to make the electric candle stand, and 1 piece that measure 8′ x 2”.  The 8″ x 2″ piece should be scored with the long edge at the top of your score tool at 1-7/8″, 3-3/4″, 5-5/8″, and 7-1/2″  You also need a piece of scrap Night of Navy

      2.  Vellum card stock—4 pieces that measure 1-7/8″ x 1-7/8″ and 4 pieces that measure 4-3/4″ x 4-3/4″

Other items you will need in assembling this lantern are  a ruler and pencil.  You will also need an electronic candle.

Now…get yourself your favorite drink and sit back and enjoy the video.  As I mention in the video, I had a few stops and starts during the entire process.  You would think at this point I would have learned to make sure the camera battery is charged and I have a big enough memory chip inserted into the camera.  What can I say?!




Until next time!  Happy Stamping!





Shop online 24/7


All Cooped Up!

Hello all! I’ve been MIA for the last several weeks.  I can’t say that I remember all that has kept me away and out of my stamp room.  I guess that is part of growing older.  I know I did something; I just can’t remember what it was.  🙂

My husband and I received our second Covid vaccine about 6 weeks ago.  It knocked me out of commission for about 24 hours afterwards with flu-like symptoms: fever, chills, muscle aches, and tiredness.  But like I said, it went away after about 24 hours.  I also helped my daughter move into her new home last week.  She is a first-time home buyer and she is in for a wonderful adventure!  So, I was out of town for about three days.  Oh! And since I am now fully vaccinated, I have gone back to doing in-person stamp club each month in my home.  I had my first one about a week and a half ago.  So that has kept me busy.  And I do remember spending a great deal of time on other crafts like making a hot air balloon Easter basket for my grand daughter and coffee filter flowers.  I made several paper-rose arrangements and an arrangement of hydrangeas out of coffee filters.  Although they are relatively easy to make, they are somewhat time consuming.  So I guess I’m not as scatterbrained as I initially thought.  I managed to remember everything that has been keeping me otherwise occupied along side the routine daily household stuff.

The card I’m sharing today pairs the Happy Birthday Chick stamp set with All Wired Up to give the appearance of a chicken behind chicken wire; All Cooped Up!  It is a simple card to make and I will share dimensions.  I used the standard shadow box card format to create it. ALSO, THE STITCHED SHAPES DIES ARE SET TO RETIRE, SO IF YOU WANT TO GET THEM, YOU NEED TO DO IT BEFORE THE END OF THIS MONTH!!!!!




Here are paper dimensions and a few directions that you will need to create this card.

  1. For card base you need two pieces of  Crumb Cake card stock that measure 5 1/2″ x 10-1/2″″, and 5-1/2″ x 4″. With the long edge of this piece at the top of your scoring tool, score at 1/2″, 4″, and 8″.  See diagram below.
  2. Run the 5-1/2″ x 4″ piece of through the Stampin’ Cut & Emboss machine using the Pinewood Planks 3D Embossing folder. This will be attached to the front of the card.
  3. Inside the card you need one piece of Basic White card stock  that measure 5 1/4″ x 3 1/4″.  If you click on the diagram below, it will tell you where inside this piece is attached.
  4. On the inside of the front cover I used a piece of 3-3/4″ x 5-1/4″ piece of leftover Oh So Ombre 6 x 6 DSP from Sale a-bration. On the outside, the DSPmeasures 3-1/4″ x 5-1/8″.
  5. One piece of window sheet cut to 3-3/4″ x 5-1/4″. Stamp this with StazOn ink using the All Wired Up stamp.
  6. Scraps of basic white to stamp the chicken images in Tuxedo Black Memento and sentiments in  Bermuda Bay.  I fussy cut around the sentiments and used the dies to cut the chicken images.
  7. Color the images with Stampin’ Blends.
  8. Cut an oval out of Crumb Cake cardstock and run it through the Stampin’ Cut & Emboss machine using the Pinewood Planks 3D Embossing folder.

If you watch my video from June 24, 2020 that can be found  here, it will tell you how to assemble this type of card.

If you have ANY questions about assembling this card, please get in touch with me.

Hope you enjoyed your visit here today!  Until next time…

Happy Stamping!